Arsene Wenger’s 900th game provides extra incentive for Arsenal’s clash with Norwich City
Norwich City will have to gatecrash Arsenal's traditional end-of-season party if they are to pull off another shock victory in North London tomorrow.
The Canaries make their first visit to the Emirates Stadium (12.45pm) for their final Premier League away game of the campaign.
Paul Lambert's men have chalked up five wins on their travels, most notably on Easter Monday at Tottenham, just five miles away from tomorrow's destination. But the Gunners, looking to complete their fourth double of the season after their 2-1 victory at Carrow Road in November, have made a habit of signing off in style in front of their own fans.
In the past 10 seasons, Ars�ne Wenger's team have won eight of their final home fixtures, scoring a seven, a six and four fours in the process.
They go into Wenger's 900th match in charge of the club in third place but still in need of points from the last two games to guarantee a Champions League place next season, with rivals Spurs and Newcastle just a point behind.
City will be looking to withstand the Arsenal assault and bounce back from three successive defeats, in which they have conceded 11 goals, but they travel safe in the knowledge that their top-flight place for 2012-13 is already booked, with the bottom four sides all unable to overtake them.
Manager Paul Lambert was today set to give a fitness update at Colney, with most of his current absentees in defence.
- 1 The school where boys can wear skirts - but not shorts
- 2 Woman in her 20s dies in A47 crash
- 3 Cyclist in her 50s dies in A11 crash
- 4 Man jealous of ex-wife's new relationship burnt down house
- 5 Husband sues hospital over 'medical neglect' death of wife
- 6 Michael Bublé concert bans chairs and blankets from gig
- 7 Redundancy leads to Norfolk mum earning up to £3,000 a month
- 8 How much will Great Yarmouth's new Marina Centre cost?
- 9 Breckland builder dumped toilet cisterns and bathroom items in front garden
- 10 Norfolk's landmark vote to curb second homes
Full-back Adam Drury was an early casualty in the 3-0 home defeat by Liverpool when he hobbled off with a groin injury, while Zak Whitbread missed all five April games with a calf problem. Marc Tierney (groin operation) and Daniel Ayala (knee) are already out for the rest of the season.
The spotlight will certainly be on the Emirates tomorrow as the day's only Premier League fixture, kicking off at lunchtime, well ahead of the early evening start in the FA Cup final at Wembley.
For the Gunners, England winger Theo Walcott is unlikely to be fit after a hamstring injury ruled him out of last week's 1-1 draw at Stoke.
The injured quartet of defender Per Mertesacker (ankle) and midfielders Mikel Arteta (ankle), Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Emmanuel Frimpong (knee) are all ruled out for the season.
Wenger, who succeeded Bruce Rioch as Arsenal manager in 1996, admitted he had no idea that it was his 900th match in charge.
The Frenchman has won 519 of his 899 games at the helm, but said the milestone had completely passed him by as he had always looked to the future rather than the past.
'Yes, I am surprised, because I don't know where the other 899 have gone,' he told Arsenal Player.
'You always have so much focus on the next one that you forget the games that are behind you.
'It is impressive, 900 games, but basically what is only important for me is to win the next one.'